Judy Reynolds qualifies for FEI World Cup dressage final
First Irish rider to qualify after third place finish in the Western European League
Judy Reynolds has qualified for the FEI World Cup dressage final. Photograph: Libby Law/Inpho
Kildare-born Judy Reynolds has become the first Irish rider to qualify for the FEI World Cup dressage final following her third place finish in the Western European League on 57 points.
Reynolds secured her spot when sixth in the final FEI World Cup Grand Prix Kür (freestyle to music) qualifier in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands, on Saturday afternoon. The Germany-based rider was on board her Olympics mount Vancouver K, the 15-year-old Jazz gelding owned by her parents, Joe and Kathleen Reynolds.
The Irish combination achieved a score of 77.870per cent as honours went to the reigning champion, Hans Peter Minderhoud of The Netherlands, riding Glock’s First (84.890). Germany’s Isabell Werth and Jessica von Bredow-Werndl, who finished second and third respectively on Saturday with Emilio 107 (83.300) and Zaire-E (80.265), top the Western European League ahead of the World Cup Final in Omaha (March 29th to April 2nd) on 80 points and 62 points.
“It’s a bonus to get to the final and I am delighted to qualify in third place in the League as it will give us a better draw in the Grand Prix in Omaha on March 30th,” said Reynolds who competed at the 2016 final in Gothenburg by invitation, finishing eighth. “The aim is to deliver a strong performance in the Grand Prix to set us up for the Grand Prix Kür freestyle final on April 1st.”
Of her performance in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Reynolds commented: “Vancouver K got a little bit excited with the applause for the score for Isabell’s test and wasn’t quite settled in the first halt but overall the work was better than last week in Dortmund as he was more consistent, better in the frame and most of the piaffe/passage trot work went well.”
In show jumping, Wexford native Bertram Allen landed Saturday night’s five-star competition in ‘s-Hertogenbosch on Quainton Stud’s 13-year-old gelding Quiet Easy.
Twelve combinations qualified for the second round of the 1.55m class with six of these recording double clears. Allen was the fastest when stopping the clock on 34.73 seconds while Tipperary’s Denis Lynch, who too will be representing Ireland in Omaha at the end of the month, had to settle for sixth place with Thomas Straumann’s 10-year-old stallion Van Helsing (44.06).